Putin, Merkel discuss Kerch Strait incident, Syria, INF Treaty by phone

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-11 12:46:02|Editor: Yang Yi
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MOSCOW, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed in phone talks on Monday the recent Kerch Strait incident, issues related to Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and developments in Syria, said the Kremlin press service.

"The leaders continued the discussion of the Kerch Strait situation. They expressed mutual interest in preventing the escalation of tensions in the Azov-Black Sea area and in resolving problems caused by provocative actions by the Ukrainian authorities," the press service said in a statement.

This is the second time that the two leaders talked about the Kerch Strait incident in recent weeks after they had a phone call on Nov. 27.

On Nov. 25, Russia seized three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, saying the Ukrainian ships breached the Russian border. The Ukraine side called Russia's actions an "act of aggression" and imposed a martial law in certain regions of the country for 30 days starting on Nov. 28.

Putin and Merkel also talked about the Syrian conflict, stressing the priority nature of the tasks to promote the inter-Syrian dialogue and form the Constitutional Committee, according to the statement.

In addition, the leaders exchanged views on the situation in the area of strategic security in light of the U.S. administration's plan to withdraw from the INF Treaty.